Friday, September 21, 2007

Mr. Bean's Holiday

For my birthday movie I saw Mr. Bean's Holiday. Release in US summer 2007 staring Rowan Atkinson. Rowan was the Black Adder in the 1980s British historical comedies of the same name. The French web site is interesting, check it out (Engrish).

<spoilers> Plot outline: Mr. Bean wins a trip to Cannes where he unwittingly separates a young boy from his father and must help the two come back together. On the way he discovers France, bicycling, and true love, among other things. </spoiler>

A sweet sensitive film. Pretty much a silent film with a solid musical score and audible dialog cards (occasional speech when required). Very loose collection of small vinyets, slapstick or silly, some times tragic.

Bean --> Beam (of light)

A beam of light striking out from its source to its destination with a one track pointedness of purpose. I hate to say child like, more naivete and oblivious to the past and future, wonderment in the moment with a ever present eye to words. His goal-the beach in Cannes. contrasted by the brash American self absorbed film maker, Carson Clay, going to the film festive to premier his artistic police drama Playback. Self important gray scale monogram on the ultimate question (listen to this podcast if you don't get this reference.) Bean splices his cinema veritie under the sound track of Fast Forward providing what could have been a heavy handed commentary that skillfully straddled the fine balance of sentiment, sweetness, affirmation, resolution of subplots, the strength of the nuclear family (reunited) realization of the hopeful if not naive dreams of a young starlet with the unruffled single minded focus of The Bean.

He checks a map for his destination/goal and literally walks straight for it guided by his compass and inability to be distracted. Cool high speed trains throughout the movie serve to reinforce the 1 track metaphor.

Bean is not distracted like a small child or a kitten, his attention changes to things normal adults no longer see. He stays in that moment until it has left (time to move on) for another, seamingly arbitrary, undirected...where was I?

As the film unfolds I realized it is unforgivingly linear and direct. Like a beam of light it travels straight illuminating many things, taking on their color, slicing through time and space without regard for anything enviromental.

Like many of the films I love, Mr. Bean's Holiday is not fully resolved until the final frames, after the credits. If you talk to anyone about this movie ask what they though about the final scene of Beans foot in the sand. I wagger that if they stayed to the end then the film may have impacted them like it did me. [spoiler deleted]

Fade to black.

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